"In 1998, Moscow was in crisis. More than 100,000 Russians took to the streets as a slew of banks--and the life savings of millions of citizens--went bust.
But just a decade later, the global commodities boom has made Russia flush with cash, and Moscow has become a pricey place to live.
That's the finding in Mercer's 2008 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. Moscow tops the list with a score of 142.4, up 6% from last year--and 42% higher than New York, the most expensive city in the U.S. The Russian capital is followed by Tokyo; London; Oslo, Norway; and Seoul, South Korea.
'The decline in the ranking of all U.S. cities is due to the weakening value of the U.S. dollar against most major world currencies,' says Mercer's Mitch Barnes, a principal at the firm. 'The dollar has been declining steadily for the past several years, which has resulted in an overall decrease in the cost of living in 19 U.S. cities, relative to other major global cities studied.'"